E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: United Kingdom: Brewer Molson Coors backs minimum prices on alcohol

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E-Malt.com News article: United Kingdom: Brewer Molson Coors backs minimum prices on alcohol
Brewery news

Molson Coors, which produces Carling, UKs most popular lager, has called on the Government to set minimum prices in a bid to tackle dangerous binge drinking, the Daily Mail posted on July, 26.

The brewer has linked up with the British Medical Association and the chief medical officer for England, Sir Liam Donaldson.

The move has put the company at odds with major supermarkets, which are slashing alcohol prices to tempt customers.

It is also out of step with brewing rivals, who fear minimum prices would hit sales and disproportionately affect the poor.

Molson Coors, which also produces Grolsch, Coors, Worthington's, Caffrey's and Sol, said the adoption of minimum prices - known as social reference pricing - in parts of Canada had been a success which could be transferred to Britain.

A spokesman said: 'We have seen social reference pricing work in the Canadian market for many years. This has not made drink unaffordable for the average drinker, but it has prevented the cheapest discounts.

If the Government wants to address cheap prices, we believe adopting social reference pricing is a model worth exploring.

The Canadian government introduced social reference pricing by regulating minimum prices, below which retailers and licensees may not sell alcohol to the public.

It says it uses the method to 'prevent discount pricing practices that would drive problematic levels of consumption and fuel youth drinking'.

Molson Coors, created from the merger of Molson of Canada and Coors of the U.S. in 2005, has backed minimum pricing in a submission to MPs investigating binge drinking on the Commons Health Select Committee.

29 July, 2009

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